Social Housing investment welcomed as a life changing boost to the regions

Peak community housing and homelessness body Shelter WA congratulates the Minister for Housing on funding that will see the community housing sector deliver 158 new social homes across WA.

“We congratulate Minister Carey on his commitment to doing everything he can to deliver new social housing as quickly as possible,” Shelter WA CEO Kath Snell said.

Community Housing Sector

“We are thrilled that the WA government has supported the community housing sector so strongly in this package by investing over $39m to deliver 158 new homes on the ground. Not only will this investment see the delivery of high-quality, affordable rental homes to those in urgent need, but vitally, will enable our sector to grow and be able to leverage off this huge investment into the creation of more social and affordable homes on the ground.

“This announcement will provide a great relief.”

“It’s also wonderful to see the majority of this investment going to the regions, particularly in the South West, where communities have been facing unprecedented pressures including skyrocketing rents and essentially zero vacancies. This announcement will provide a great relief to families desperately waiting for a safe, secure home.”

The $39m package is the second round of funding from the $750m Social Housing Investment Fund announced in the 2021-22 State Budget, which was a record investment with the aim to boost WA’s social housing by 3,300 properties within four years.

Shelter WA Modelling

Modelling commissioned by Shelter WA recently found that government can save approximately 35 per cent on the full cost of social housing delivery by providing a capital grant to a community housing organisation compared to direct investment. (1) Similarly, the most recent investment of $50m by the NSW Government in 2021 through the Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF) will deliver more than 270 homes at a cost of around $185,000 per unit of housing, which is approximately 40 per cent of the cost than if it were provided directly by government.

“A game changer for our sector.”

“This investment will change the lives of 158 families – and is also a game changer for our sector. We are beyond thrilled to be able to showcase what is possible by working together with government as a delivery partner,” Ms Snell concluded.

Fast Facts

• There were 18,975 households (33,535 people) are on the social housing waitlist (2)
• The rental vacancy rate in the southwest is 0.1 per cent in Busselton, 0.2 per cent in Bunbury and 0.2 per cent in Albany and rent prices have risen by 27 per cent in Perth, 38 per cent in Bunbury, and 33 per cent in Busselton in the last two years (Source: SQM Research).

Media enquiries:

Chantal Caruso, Shelter WA | E: chantal@shelterwa.org.au | M: 0447 201 377.

(1) Unpublished modelling conducted by Paxon Group (2022) on behalf of Shelter WA is available on request.

(2) Extract from Hansard (Tuesday, 11 October 2022) Public Housing – waitlist. Here.